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RS100 Open at Netley Sailing Club

by Clive Eplett 8 Aug 06:50 BST 3-4 August 2019
Netley RS100 Open © Nick Whidbourne

Is it true Netley SC is some form of RS100 black hole, sucking up every boat that comes on the market, for it never to be seen again outside a patch of water defined by the Hamble river at one end and the river Itchen at the other?

Could the travelling RS100 team persuade any of the Netley massive to come to the Nationals?

Would all that isolationist club class-racing have elevated the Netley standard beyond that of the circuit regulars?

And on a personal note could your correspondent somehow fluke another win to make it four in a row?

In brief, yup, nope, jury's out, fat chance.

The conditions were as forecast, mainly cloudy, but warm with a moderate SE breeze. But what's this gibberish about the tide coming in, then stopping, then coming in again before surging out as if someone unplugged that black-hole generator? The racing was excellent as evidenced by the topsy-turvy high scoring. Going from hero to zero, or vice-versa within and across races was a theme all weekend.

Notwithstanding the 'fat-chance', in a boat covered in Harken stickers, yours truly was instructed before launching by Harken's Ben McGrane to get the start right and, unusually, an instruction was obeyed. Winning the pin and with a header arriving at just the right time, Clive Eplett's comfortable first race win flattered to deceive. Bolt well and truly shot then. Behind, Netley's James Ross was well quick upwind, but confessed to not having quite got the knack going the other way, ultimately finding himself ground down by Mark Harrison of Gurnard and Huw (foot-in-home-and-away-camps) Powell.

Race 2 and the pin was in demand. This time Netley's Graham Wilcox echoed the first race formula; win the pin then sail off. James led the chase, this time keeping the others behind, with Nils Jollife waking up for third.

That made it one bullet each to away and home teams.

Race 3 and the contra tide had stopped running. Yes you saw it coming, it was general recall time, catalysed also by Huw sailing along the line in the final 30 seconds, wailing "oh no, I'm miles above my transits" and failing to find a hole to dip into. On the restart, the furthest travelled Nick Heather from Windermere SC read the first beat best. Netley's Steve Main got his groove on for a deserved second, after a battle with Nils and Clive.

2-1 on bullets.

In the final race of the day and with a now ebbing tide, local top-gun Nils finally decided to join in from the start, taking a comfortable win. Duncan Barr had his best race, securing second from Mark and Huw. Your correspondent had better confess to falling over and out of the boat to capsize on the lightest gybe of the day, whilst well positioned. Such muppetry was ultimately going to prove expensive.

2-2 in home/away race wins, four different race winners. Overnight Nils was looking good on 7 points though, from Mark on 10, Huw 12, Clive 13, Nick and James on 16.

Race Officer Dougal Henshall assured us during Sunday's briefing that the wind was going to jump from SE to S at 1pm. He was right, but the weather was on GMT not BST. After a re-laid course, off we went into an insecure breeze. The pin was the place to be, but starboard tack was not, the wind had flicked back and many well over-stood. But Nils came out smelling of roses as did Clive who bailed from being buried only to see the mark bang on the nose. Nils inexorably drew away until the last beat to the gate finish where he finally got a shift wrong, but not by quite enough for this pursuer's liking. Graeme Ross clearly had been side-stepping the dark-n-stormies the night before to grab third from Huw. Nils lead was now looking secure, but the chasing pack had all to play for.

The final race was the wackiest of the weekend. In a flooding tide, left was the place to be on the first beat until its last minute, when it veered 20 degrees and the wind-speed dropped dramatically. Cue mark pile-ups, where it was only just possible to stem the tide. James Stewart showed that class will always out to lead from Graeme. Meantime, Nils and Huw looked like they were toast as a result of the melee. But Huw did the illogical thing of sailing out of the strong, favourable tide to emerge 4th at the leeward mark, with Nils just behind. How did they do that? Graeme got past James S to take his second bullet of the weekend. Clive's 7th was too far from Huw, making the final order a well-deserved win for Nils followed by Huw, Clive, Mark, Graeme and James R.

Thanks go to all of Netley SC for putting on a fabulous weekends competition. The new clubhouse is a triumph that any club would be proud of and the general atmosphere is a delight; Netley is clearly a club on the up. No wonder the scallywags won't travel.

Next up for the RS100s is Ulswater on 17/18 August, Starcross on 7th September before the Nationals pasty-fest on 12-15 September. Porthpean is another lovely club on a beautiful stretch of water (says the Cornishman born and bred just the other side of the Gribben Head). Don't miss it.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st370Nils JolliffeNetley SC‑93311513
2nd508Huw PowellRed Wharf Bay / Netley2‑6644420
3rd509Clive EplettFrensham Pond1‑9482722
4th379Mark HarrisonGurnard SC3473‑12623
5th241Graeme WillcoxNetley SC‑1518133126
6th264James RossNetley SC4210‑125930
7th377Andrew WilsonDatchet Water SC(DNS)85661439
8th364Duncan BarrNetley SC10‑1414211340
9th348Nick SandisonNetley SC6591010‑1540
10th503Nick HeatherSWSC/RWYC8711115‑1742
11th372Steve MainNetley SC13152‑1771350
12th407Mike RhodesNetley sc11101679‑1953
13th229James StewartNetley SC181611(RET)8255
14th302Daniel CraftNetley SC712125(DNC)DNC67
15th366James JaffaFrensham Pond1218‑221614868
16th421Jeremy TroughtonNetley SC517171518(RET)72
17th403Charlie RoomRYA1613‑2419131172
18th470Francis BucknallLlandegfedd14‑211814191075
19th122John CharesLeigh‑on‑Sea19‑25209161276
20th472Stewart HawthornNetley SC2011151820(RET)84
21st147Aidan SkinnerPort Dinorwic SC17201320‑232090
22nd266Andy TrickettNetley SC22‑2719212516103
23rd184Nick WhidborneNetley SC2123‑27231721105
24th156Nick CreekNetley SC2324‑25222122112
25th153Tim ChildNetley SC‑251921252424113
26th412Andy HeatherNetley SC24222324‑2623116
27th36Vicky TaylorNetley SC262628(RET)2218120
28th300Alex OgilvieNetley SC27292626(RET)DNC139
29th127Tom MilneNetley SC(DNF)28292727RET142
30th222Mike LewisNetley SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC155

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